In the heart of Toronto's Annex neighbourhood, a unique proposal introduces a twist to heritage preservation: a "floating" 10-storey residential building held aloft above an early 20th century 4-storey apartment. Designed by architects—Alliance for ProWinko, the infill project at 41-45 Spadina Road is positioned at the southeast corner of Spadina Road and Lowther Avenue, a short walk north of Spadina station.

Looking east to 41-45 Spadina Road, designed by architects—Alliance for ProWinko

The rectangular site, spanning approximately 1,700m², houses an apartment known as Spadina Gardens. This heritage-designated property, built circa 1905, showcases early 20th-century Edwardian Classical architecture and is representative of the heritage nature of The Annex, a neighbourhood with a mix of residential, commercial, and institutional buildings from several periods. The site is flanked by a Montessori school to the south and a series of three-storey structures to the east, part of the West Annex Heritage Conservation District.

Looking southwest to the heritage apartment building onsite, image retrieved from Google Maps

A Zoning By-law Amendment application proposes a seldom-seen development strategy, adding a 10-storey residential structure atop the existing 4-storey heritage building, culminating in a total height of 55.5m. With the new construction elevated a storey above the existing building, the total storey count would be 15. The building would be cantilevered from two columns; one built in the lightwell in the middle of the U-shaped building, which would contain the elevators, and a second column built at the south end of the building which would also contain a stairwell.

Looking west to 41-45 Spadina Road, designed by architects—Alliance for ProWinko

This would introduce 70 additional dwelling units alongside the existing 24 units in Spadina Gardens. Only minor alterations to the existing building would be required, including adjustments to one ground-floor unit to accommodate a new residential lobby entrance. With two elevators translating to one for every 47 units, there would be minimal wait times for residents.

Ground floor plan, designed by architects—Alliance for ProWinko

The design includes provisions for 218m² of amenity space, including an indoor amenity room spanning 44m² located at the rooftop level, complemented by a 174m² outdoor terrace. In terms of density and massing, the Floor Space Index (FSI) would be 5.48, with the Gross Floor Area (GFA) expanded to a total of 9,315m², with the new construction contributing 5,135m².

Site plan, designed by architects—Alliance for ProWinko

Notably, the project includes no provisions for on-site vehicular parking, aligning with the City's goals to promote more sustainable modes of transportation. It would support cycling by offering 78 bicycle parking spaces, with 64 for long-term use and 14 for short-term needs.

Located just 150m north of Spadina station, residents have easy access to TTC’s Lines 1 and 2. Additionally, the area is served by several key TTC bus and streetcar routes. For cyclists, there are dedicated bikeways and signed routes along Bloor Street West, St George Street, Avenue Road, and University Avenue in the vicinity.

An aerial view of the site and surrounding area, image from submission to City of Toronto

The surrounding area is a hub of development activity, leveraging its excellent transit access and prime location next to downtown. To the west, proposals at 171-175 Lowther Avenue and 38 and 40 Walmer Road propose 11, 20, and 35 storeys, respectively. To the east, near St George station, 64 Prince Arthur Avenue and 145 St George Street are set to rise 13 and 28 storeys respectively. Near Bathurst station to the west, Mirvish Village is under construction with five new buildings ranging from 13 to 26 storeys at the former home of Honest Ed's. Further south, close to Spadina station, the development pace intensifies. The 34-storey Cielo Condos at 300 Bloor Street West and the 37-storey tower at 316 Bloor Street West are both currently under construction, while nearby, 425, 350, and 328 Bloor Street West are planned at 30, 35, and 37 storeys, respectively.

Height context map of the surrounding area, image from submission to City of Toronto

UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more about it from our Database file, linked below. If you'd like, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  architects—Alliance, Gradient Wind Engineers & Scientists, ProWinko, WND Associates Ltd